Monday, November 7, 2011

Colonial Peanut Soup


It's been chilly down here lately... well as chilly as it gets in North Florida at this time of year. I was looking for something different to have for dinner one night.  I knew I wanted soup but I just wasn't in the mood for Tomato or Mushroom soup and it's not quite chicken soup weather yet.  So it was off to an old standby, Peanut Soup.  Peanut Soup has been a staple in the US since colonial times but it's popularity waned in the late 20th Century except in areas where peanuts are a dominant crop (Georgia and especially Virginia).  This recipe is from an old Williamsburg recipe and has gone unchanged since Colonial times.

Colonial Peanut Soup

1T Butter
1/4C Minced Onion
1/4C Minced Celery + Leaves
1T Flour
2C Chicken Stock
2/3C Peanut Butter (Smooth, All Natural)
1/2C Whole Milk or Half n' Half

Heat butter and cook celery and onion until transparent, 3 mins.  Stir in flour and cook 2 mins stirring constantly.  Add chicken stock and bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened.  Strain mixture through a sieve or chinois pressing down to extract all the flavor.  Return to low heat and add peanut butter and half n half.  Simmer 5 mins.

The taste is quite thick and rich with the peanut flavor and this soup will stand by itself as a meal, warming the body and nourishing the soul.  It is very high in protein which is plus in those winter months when we tend to heavier on the carbohydrates.  Try it as a 1st course during the holidays, especially Thanksgiving.  One does not need to cook a great amount of this soup as just a little bit will be able to fill the stomach.  I used Smuckers all natural peanut butter, just ground peanuts and salt.  This recipe is good for 2 large servings where the soup is the main course or 4 smaller 1st course servings.  Best paired with roasted fowl or game meats.

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